Los Angeles Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you face allegations of a sex crime in the Los Angeles area, you want the defense lawyers of Chudnovsky Law to handle your case immediately. Our team includes highly experienced criminal defense attorneys, many of whom are former prosecutors, who know how to successfully defend against serious charges in Los Angeles courts, federal courts, and more.
Always hire a Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer at Chudnovsky Law as soon as you learn of any allegations against you. Because of the severity of these allegations, you want an attorney with the respect of prosecutors and judges and years of experience taking on serious criminal charges.
The experienced defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law have over 60 years of combined experience handling more than 8,500 cases. We know how to fight back against allegations of sexual crimes, so reach out immediately for help.
Sex crimes are among the most serious of all criminal offenses under California law. These cases can quickly get out of a defendant’s control. Prosecutors are particularly aggressive on sex offenses, and it can be difficult to defend yourself against serious sexual allegations – especially when there are no witnesses.
Sexual offenses have serious criminal penalties and lead to collateral consequences in all areas of a person’s life. An offender might have to register as a sex offender upon conviction. This will affect where the person can live and work for years. Worse still, a parent’s child custody rights can suffer due to a conviction of any allegations involving any sexual component.
Call us without delay so we can start protecting your rights, your reputation, and your future.
Misdemeanor Sex Crime Charges
While most sex crimes are felonies, state law classifies a few as misdemeanors. These include indecent exposure and soliciting a minor for exposure or lewd acts. Prosecutors can charge a series of offenses as disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor).
This list is in Section 647 of the Penal Code, and it includes:
- Lewd conduct in public (or soliciting someone else to engage in lewd public conduct)
- Soliciting or engaging in prostitution
- Soliciting a minor for prostitution
- Loitering in public toilets to solicit or engage in lewd acts
- Voyeurism (including peeping, recording, and distributing images of intimate body parts)
Prosecutors can charge annoying or molesting a child under 18 (or an adult the accused believed to be under 18) as a misdemeanor or a felony. This offense refers to conduct that is likely to disturb, irritate, or be observed by a child. It does not require any contact with a child. Words alone can violate this statute, and the severity of the conduct will determine whether the defendant faces a misdemeanor or a felony charge.
Prosecutors can charge possession of child pornography as a misdemeanor if it is the defendant’s first offense. For repeat offenders, commercial distribution, and other aggravating circumstances, prosecutors charge child porn offenses as felonies.
Felony Sex Crime Charges
The majority of sex offenses are felonies under California law.
These offenses cover illegal sexual behaviors including:
- Sexual assault and sexual battery
- Lewd and lascivious acts with a child younger than 14
- Kidnapping, inducing, or transporting a minor for prostitution
- Aggravated sexual assault of a child
Many other sexual offenses are felonies under California law. Whatever charges you face, the experienced sex crimes lawyers at Chudnovsky Law are here to protect your legal rights and defend you against serious criminal charges.
Rape is a general term that defines a broad range of sexual activities against the victim’s will. California law defines many different types of rape to address various situations.
Section 261 of the Penal Code defines:
- Forcible rape
- Rape by use of drugs
- Rape of an unconscious person
- Rape by the threat of harm
California law also prohibits statutory rape. Depending on the age difference between the defendant and the minor, statutory rape prosecutors can charge this as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This statute also provides for civil penalties. A conviction can thus result in fines in addition to jail time, prison time, and the potential of being ordered to register as a sex offender.
The Consequences of a Sex Crime Conviction
The criminal penalties for a sex crime conviction can be severe. Prison time, large fines, and sex offender registration are common penalties that can affect a person for years. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many areas of life that a sex crime conviction can permanently change.
Many employers ask about criminal convictions during the hiring process. Some even ask about arrests that did not lead to charges. Employers can consider criminal convictions in the hiring process - even misdemeanors.
In the case of sex crimes, some employers must screen out applicants who have convictions. If, for example, an employer runs a daycare center, they cannot hire anyone who has a conviction for a crime against children.
A sex crime conviction can also make it difficult to get fingerprint clearance through the California Department of Justice or security clearance through the federal government. Many jobs require security clearance as a condition of employment.
Speak with our defense lawyers about your work situation at the start of your case. In some cases, it is possible to include work-related goals as part of an overall case strategy.
Almost every landlord in California runs a criminal background check on prospective tenants. Many will refuse to rent to a person with a sex crime conviction, and it is legal for them to do so. A conviction can also restrict where you may lawfully reside.
For example, a defendant convicted of any sexual offense against a minor may need to stay away from schools, daycare centers, parks, and other places where children gather. Sex offender registration or a separate court order may spell this out. In either case, this will restrict the defendant's housing options.
In resolving child custody matters, the family courts have wide discretion to consider any evidence related to the child’s best interests. This can include arrests, formal charges, or even unfounded abuse allegations.
If a parent has a sexual offense conviction, the family court may consider this as strong evidence regarding the child's best interests. The conviction does not have to involve the child (or children) in the custody dispute. The conviction does not have to involve children, as sexual misconduct involving an adult can also be relevant in a custody dispute.
After a conviction, the defendant can lose custody of all their children permanently.
Let our defense lawyers know about any child custody matters at the beginning of your criminal case. Even if you are on good terms with the other parent, the state can decide to intervene to restrict - or even permanently sever - your parental rights. The outcome of your criminal case will greatly influence what happens in the family court.
FAQ About California Sex Crimes
Will I go to prison for a sex crime conviction?
Just because you face charges of a sex crime does not automatically mean you will go to prison. First, being charged is not the same as being convicted.
Our sex crimes lawyers work hard to prevent wrongful convictions based on hearsay evidence, constitutional violations, and other legal errors. Second, a conviction does not automatically result in a prison sentence. Misdemeanor convictions can result in a sentence of a year (or less) in the county jail.
It is also possible to receive a probation sentence for sex crimes offenses. In this case, you will not go to jail unless you violate the terms of probation. There are many possibilities for sentencing in sex crimes cases. With an experienced defense attorney on your side, you will have the best possible options for resolving the charges against you.
Will I have to register as a sex offender?
Under California law, certain convictions require sex offender registration. The court has no discretion to waive the requirement if it convicts a defendant of one of these offenses.
However: mandatory registration applies to only the most serious offenses. For most other sexual offenses, it is up to the sentencing judge to decide whether to order the defendant to register as a sex offender or not.
Having an experienced Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer on your side can make the difference between registering or not. As you can imagine, being a registered sex offender affects almost every area of your life. You have to register with a local law enforcement agency so they can track your residence. You may have to notify your neighbors and employer, as well.
A good criminal defense lawyer will know how best to convince the judge that sex offender registration is unnecessary in your case.
Are there any defenses to charges of sexual misconduct?
Being charged with a sexual crime is not the same as a conviction. While the process is overwhelming and the potential consequences can be terrifying, there are defenses to sex crimes. The right defense will depend on the specific facts of your case.
Common examples include:
- The victim consented to sexual activity.
- The police violated your constitutional rights in their investigation.
- The lab mishandled DNA evidence.
- You have an alibi that proves there is no way you committed the alleged crime.
- You were wrongly identified based on a partial description of the perpetrator, improper police lineup, or other errors in the investigation.
There are many ways to defend sex crime cases. Remember, the prosecutor must prove each element of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard is the highest that exists in the law. Questions about what happened, who committed the crime, the procedures police used, or any other detail of the case can prevent a prosecutor from getting a conviction.
How are sex crimes prosecuted involving new technologies?
Law enforcement agencies train their agents in the newest technologies people might use to commit sexual offenses. Since the internet's earliest days, the FBI's cyber crimes professionals have developed sophisticated methods of tracking child pornography. Now, law enforcement professionals must investigate cases involving all types of new apps. Some apps (like Snapchat) delete messages after others read them. Others create private message logs with security measures to protect against outsider access.
Police detectives have training on accessing these logs and proving the existence of sexts, child porn, and other incriminating evidence. Prosecutors now have years of experience taking these cases to trial and presenting digital evidence to a jury. Our Los Angeles sex crimes lawyers stay current on the latest technology so we can effectively defend our clients in these cases. We work with our technology experts to develop a case strategy (and challenge the prosecution’s evidence when necessary).
New technologies also play a role in revenge porn cases. California was the first state to pass a law criminalizing revenge porn in 2013. These cases also involve detailed technological evidence. Images and videos can be distributed online, by text or email, through apps, and with encryption. Our defense attorneys work with expert witnesses to defend revenge porn cases - and all other sex crimes that involve the latest apps and services.
Experienced, Aggressive Los Angeles Sex Crime Defense Attorneys Ready to Help
Any time a criminal case involves allegations of a sexual nature, things can get quickly out of hand. Prosecutors tend to come down hard and charge these cases aggressively. Waging an effective fight against allegations from a vulnerable victim (such as a child) requires the strength, tact, and skill of a seasoned sex crimes lawyer.
Getting an experienced Los Angeles sex crimes lawyer on your side as soon as possible is the most effective way to protect yourself from a case that gets out of control.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law fight hard to protect our clients’ rights. We negotiate fair plea deals, mitigate sentencing whenever possible, deal with sex offender registration, and go to trial when necessary to fight for our clients. Contact us at (213) 212-5002 today for your free, confidential consultation. You will not regret having our criminal defense team on your side.
We represent clients throughout southern California from our Los Angeles and Orange County offices, including:
Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Encino, Glendale, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Van Nuys, Venice, Ventura, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills.
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Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.
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